Archive for March, 2012

Today I received a call that my husband’s compost – his birthday present from his mother – was delivered this morning, and of course this means I have a full weekend planned.

I have only gotten as far as outlining the Sunny Border – a project I’ve imagined ever since we took over custodianship of this garden – so I need to dig away the turf and fluff up the soil beneath, mixing in a good measure of compost.

The other day I bought something I don’t particularly like; a long piece of 8″ deep corrugated plastic to serve as a boundary between the Sunny Border and the lawn, simply so the grass won’t invade the new border the same way it has invaded the Ambitious Border. I might invest in more of this once I’ve weeded out all the grass in the Ambitious Border.

It’s not pretty, for sure, but since it will be fully buried in the ground I guess I can live with it. I would have preferred a more natural material, but buying the wood to make something similar would a) be too expensive and b) probably be worse for the environment in general, since that wood would have to be cut, transported etc. to get to the garden.


In other news the dogwood and forsythia branches that I forced in the apartment now have green leaves. The forsythia might have lost its yellow splendour, but the dogwood is getting ready to show off a few bunches of tiny white flowers. And both the dogwood and the forsythia are beginning to show signs of roots!!! NEW PLANTS!!!

If they survive long enough they will end up in the Hedgerow toward the road, screening our haven a bit more from the outside world. More blossoms in spring, more variegated leaves in summer, more red dogwood stems in winter.


I picked some sedum stems last autumn as part of a bouquet of flowers for the apartment, and as the rest of the flowers faded the sedums started creating roots in the vase. I threw the rest of the flowers away, cut down the sedums to a few inches, and all through the winter they’ve stayed alive in a glass of water on the kitchen table. Yesterday morning I decided that spring had arrived and that perhaps in a month there might be room in the garden for the remainder of a bunch of flowers, picked for their beauty and retained so that beauty might regenerate. So I potted up the small stems with their fragile roots and tiny leaves.

It was propagation by accident, but I kept them alive. I watered them, nursed them and loved them – willed them – alive. It’s the greatest feat of magic imaginable, isn’t it?

Read Full Post »

It is Spring. All is pruned back.
We’re cutting down the shrubberies and the budgets.
Gone is the gluttony of yore.
We exercise until we look like skeletons.
I age five years
each time I dig into my wallet
but when the spring sun shines
I become young!

(Det er forår. Alting klippes ned.
Der beskæres i buskadser og budgetter.
Slut med fordums fede ødselhed.
Vi begynder at træne til skeletter.
Jeg blir fem år ældre
ved hvert indgreb i min pung,
men når forårssolen skinner,
blir jeg ung!)

The above is the first verse of a song written by the Danish poet Benny Andersen. As a child I never quite understood it, because surely Spring should be about growth, and cutting back would be in autumn!

But as we all know it isn’t. There are last years spent perennials, of course, and the roses and the fruit trees. And later in the spring the forsythia and other spring-flowering shrubs.

The night frost has returned, and it looks like it will continue on and off for at least a fortnight, so my spring header on the blog mainly celebrates the calendar spring; it’s very difficult to see in the garden, except for the snowdrops and the winter aconites, but then they’re only harbingers of Spring, not Spring itself!

I also took a series of “before” shots of my pruning targets for this weekend, and I will upload them together with “after” shots in a later blog entry. Please do not mock me; I may be inexperienced at pruning, but any pruning is better than no pruning, right?

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts